United Arab Emirates
NEWS
FACT FILE
Location Arabian Peninsula in South West Asia - Persian Gulf.
Time Zone Greenwich Mean Time + 4.
Population 9,205, 651 (2012 World Bank Estimate).
Capital Abu Dhabi (largest city - Dubai).
Airport Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport.
Language Arabic (official), widely spoken; English, Persian, Hindu, Urdu.
Currency UAE Dirham (AED).
Dialing Code + 971.
Centre's Expertise Structuring hub with substance with access to close to 60 DTTs; one of the fastest growing Financial Centres worldwide and no.1 Financial Centre in the MENA/ Subcontinent region (see Global Financial Centres Index 2013).
Political System Federal presidential system and elective constitutional monarchy; 7 Emirates.
Legal System Civil Law in general; Shari'a for person and family matters, Common law in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC).
Personal Income Tax None.
Corporate Income Tax Onshore: None, with some exceptions (branches of foreign banks - 20% and oil companies - 55%) Free Zone: None.
Exchange Restrictions None.
Tax Treaties Close to 60 DTTs (For full details, please go to www.ifcreview.com/TIEA).
Permitted Currencies AED.
Minimum Authorised Capital AED 1.00 to AED 1 mios depending on the type of vehicle and place of registration.
Minimum Share Issues 1 or 2 depending on the type of vehicle and place of registration.
Shelf Companies Onshore: No. Free Zone: No. Offshore: Yes.
Incorporation Time Scale Onshore: 4-8 weeks depending on the type of license sought. Free Zone: 1-8 weeks depending on the Zone. Offshore: 1 day for RAKIA IBC, 5 days for JAFZA IBC.
Incorporation Fees Depends on agent and type of vehicle. For RAKIA IBC: US$2,990 (recommended). For JAFZA IBC: US$4,790 (recommended).
Annual Fees Depends on agent and type of vehicle. For RAKIA IBC and JAFZA IBC: US$2,390 (indicative price).
Minimum Number 1 or 2 depending on the type of vehicle and place of registration.
Residency Requirements Onshore: at least one director must be resident. Free Zone: at least one director must be resident. Offshore: no requirements.
Corporate Directors Onshore; No. Free Zone; No. Offshore: Rakia, Yes; JAFZA; No.
Meetings/Frequency One per year - monitoring varies on the type of vehicle and place of registration.
Disclosure Shareholders: Yes. UBO: No.
Bearer Shares Not permitted.
Minimum Number 1 or 2 depending on the type of vehicle and place of registration. Onshore (LLC): Two. Free Zone: One or Two. Offshore: One.
Public Share Registry Onshore: Yes. Free Zone: No. Offshore: No.
Meetings Frequency One per year - monitoring varies on the type of vehicle and place of registration.
Annual Return Onshore: Once per year. Free Zone: once per year (with some exemptions). Offshore: No (requirements to maintain financial books but not monitored).
Audit Requirements Onshore: Yes. Free Zone: Yes (with some exemptions). Offshore: No.
Registered Office For RAKIA IBC: In the UAE. For JAFZA IBC: In Dubai.
Domicile Issues Free Zone: transfer of headquarters provided for by some Free Zones. Onshore: transfer of headquarters provided guidelines are currently being assessed by the Dubai authorities.
Company Naming Restrictions Words associated with a government body (eg Municipality, Emirate, Chamber), financial activities (eg bank, trust, insurance, finance, credit, fund) and royalty (King, Queen, Crown etc).
ARTICLES
Why Dubai?
  Shedding a light on Dubai's attributes as a leading destination for international investors (19/09/2017)
UAE: Corporate Governance and the Limited Liability Company
  Ahmed Elnaggar provides an overview of the attraction of the UAE's Limited Liability Company regulation. (07/07/2015)
United Arab Emirates – Evolving Legislation
  Eric Milne examines how the UAE has weathered the financial storm through legislative changes to ensure a dynamic economy. (01/09/2014)
UAE: The Investor’s Favourite Middle Eastern Destination
  With recent changes to Tax Residency and the Competion Law, Yann Mrazek, Cramer-Salamian highlights why the UAE is considered one of the favoured middle eastern jurisdictions for investors. (01/03/2013)
Creating Economic Substance Offshore Using the UAE
  Adriaan Struijk examines the benefits of doing business in the UAE, in particular he considers the free zones in Ras al Khaimah and the tax treaty advantages arising out of the Emirates. (01/01/2012)
Dubai: DIFC Court Jurisdiction Opened to All
  Sunil Thacker examines the benefits provided by the recent opening of the Dubai International Finance Centre's courts to all parties outside the DIFC jurisdiction. (12/12/2011)
The New Financial Architecture and the Role of the DIFC
  Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar provides an insight into the world of emerging IFC’s and explains how these rising markets will lead to a move away from traditional IFC’s towards influential new markets, including the UAE. (01/09/2011)
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FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  UAE Tax Treaties
  The UAE currently has 64 DTC agreements in place. - read more...
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